Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Treating pancreatic cancer depends on the extent of the cancer and the patient’s health history.

Treatment options include:

  • Surgery: Surgery can be used to remove localized pancreatic cancers that have not spread to other parts of the body. Surgeons may remove pancreatic tumors with minimally invasive, robotic surgical techniques depending on various factors. The type of surgery also depends on the location of the cancer – for cancers in the head of the pancreas, a Whipple procedure may be required. A distal pancreatectomy may be required for cancers in the body or the tail of the pancreas. Some cancers require that the entire pancreas is removed (total pancreatectomy)
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is often administered through an IV and is used for all stages of pancreatic cancer to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given in conjunction with surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles to attack the tumor cells, preventing harm to nearby normal tissues. Radiation therapy is similar to an X-ray as it does not cause any pain when immediately administered.